He will report to Eric Etchart, Manitowoc president and general manager. Schwer’s experience in research and development, and in change management, will unify Manitowoc’s innovation, Etchart said.

“I am excited to have someone with Andreas’ expertise and leadership abilities join our organisation in this role,” he said. “He brings impressive experience in transferring best-practice thinking into practical applications and establishing strategic partnerships with vendors and customers to drive and develop breakthrough technologies.”

Schwer most recently held the position of vice president of design and development at EADS Eurocopter. He has held leadership positions with several innovative organisations including Daimler Benz Aerospace, the European Space Agency and the Institute for Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart. He will be based in Europe, but will travel extensively in this newly created role.